In the company of Vagabonds
Gaberlunz has only recently been recognized as a loose sort of community. It has no real central location, no defensive walls or towers, or a town hall. Instead, it is an aggregation of subsistance farming families, abandoned buildings, and weedy roads and rickety bridges. If Gaberlunz had a heart, it could be the cluster of buildings that are hunched along the banks of the Sora River. These are the remnant of an abandoned merchant’s caravanisary that has not seen a merchant’s caravan in decades.
Gypsies, wanderers, tinkers, all these are common names for a nomadic group of people who live their lives from the backs of large brightly painted wagons. They make their livings by mending pots and sharpening knives, being purveyors of news and exotic goods. The region of Gaberlunz is a crossroads for this mendicant people, a place where the wagons are hitched and tinker wine is hidden to age. Eventually a few permanent buildings went up, out of convenience.
A splinter group of tinkers decided to become settled folk, and built houses, though most kept to the sizes and colors of their old wagon homes. Rather than adapting the linear patterns and grids of other settlements, the tinker homes were built in rings, facing towards a common center, forming a sort of defensive ring. The middle area being used for gatherings, cooking and cleaning clothes and the like.
For the most part, the Tinker community went unnoticed, the tinkers being a paradoxically reclusive people. the thought of a tinker community brought the dissolute and those touched with wanderlust to the area. Some found a place with the wagons, and others simply found a safe place to stay and never left. Soon, the region was host to a stable population and subsistence farming arose. This was a byproduct of many of the run-aways being itenerant farm workers with debts or criminal charges lurking after them. They tend equally weedy fields and trade their food for ale. They fell into work gangs that are lead by strongmen and former fighters and have an idea at being the leaders of Gaberlunz, but are still too busy fighting each other, torching barns and drinking the alehouse dry.
Weeds in the garden, suds in the bucket
To run off to Gaberlunz is to forsake all claims, ties, and bonds, to expunge all debts owed to others or from others and to ‘run away’. Many love struck couples have eloped to Gaberlunz to make a new start, but most find the place falling well short of their imagined honeymoon paradise.
The Honeyed Moon
This is the stone alehouse that is the focal point of Gaberlunz and serves as what passes for a courthouse since the old courthouse was burned out, and then scavenged for wood and stone. The Alehouse is run by a mountain of a woman and her gang of doughty sons. Known as Mother White, and tipping the scales at over 400 pounds, she is a nexus of gossip, feuds, and local goings on. He strong-arm sons keep the alehouse open, and rob the regions brewers as often as paying them for ale.
The Tinker sundry store carries the left overs and extras from the tinkers, as well as bartered goods. There is no telling what the store will have on hand, and rare and exotic items are just as likely to be found as dried bacon or other basic items. The store is run by the boss of whatever Tinker caravan happens to be at the store, and it serves as a place to change out old stock that wont sell for new that might. There is little to no coin to be had here.
The Rack, the Hole, and the Stockyard
Each of these run down buildings is the den of a group of thieves, criminals, and murderers. Most are hiding, or looking to make a name for themselves among the shabby folk and toothless old men of Gaberlunz. The Rack doubles as a brothel or highly questionable quality and safety, the Hole has a badly rotted floor, and the Stockyard is run by a man called the butcher who will clean and package whatever animal is brought to him…no matter what kind.
Gaberlunzies - A gang of Gaberlunzians have ventured into a more reputable part of the world and sell their services to the local thieves guild as ruffians, legbreakers, and hooligans of the first order. Some local youths, wishing to imitate the toughs adopt their half thief, half farmer appearance and talking with a similar ‘accent’. The PCs have to deal with younger locals wanting everyone to know how tough they are. The city guard, of course, looks down on such brawls, but are more likely to side with the local youths than the outsider PCs.
To Elope - A local Princess of some repute has eloped with a Gabrelunzian vagabond, and the duo have run away to Gaberlunz, but not before looting the royal coffers of some priceless jewels, a magic item or three, and some of the kingdom’s finest horse bloodstock. The PCs have to follow the vagrant couple, rescue the princess, and restore the priceless goods to the crown. Has the princess been seduced by a cauchemar? Or has she really decided to run away and is using a gullible farmboy as a scapegoat?
Cambor to Gaberlunz - Any of the plot hooks that are started in Cambor can easily wander into Gaberlunz, and vice versa. Dereliction and disorder are no strangers to one another.